Muttontown Mayor Julianne Wesley Beckerman and her husband were indicted Wednesday on charges of tax fraud related to not paying state taxes from 2010 to 2014.
Acting state Supreme Court Judge Terence Murphy of Nassau County unsealed a grand jury indictment that charged Beckerman, 48, with five counts of tax fraud and one count of repeated failure to file income and earnings taxes. She pleaded not guilty. Her physician husband, Adam Beckerman, 56, was charged with four counts of tax fraud and one count of failure to file taxes. He also pleaded not guilty.
The couple was arrested in April on criminal charges after prosecutors said they had not filed state tax returns from 2010 to 2014 despite having income of more than $4.5 million in that period. Prosecutors said the couple owes $243,865 in back taxes. If convicted, the Beckermans face a maximum of 5 to 15 years in prison.
Mayor Beckerman declined to comment as she left the courthouse in Mineola.
Her Garden City attorney, Brian Griffin, said, “Ms. Beckerman has met her tax obligations and the records proving this are clear. She not only intended to pay her taxes, she did pay her taxes. We have produced these records to the district attorney but yet they continue to move forward on a case that should never have been brought.”
The district attorney’s office said in a statement that “we reviewed all records submitted by Ms. Beckerman before proceeding with this case.”
Robert Altchiler, the Manhattan attorney for Adam Beckerman, said his client “did absolutely nothing wrong.”
The state Department of Taxation and Finance discovered the alleged failure to pay taxes. A spokesman with the agency said anyone found to be delinquent on tax payments is given warnings and an opportunity to pay before law enforcement is contacted.
Beckerman in April said she had no plans to leave her elected office, telling Newsday after a village board meeting that “I stand by the job I’ve done here for more than a decade.”
Her 4-year term expires in 2018.
Beckerman was first elected mayor of the upscale North Shore village in 2006 and was most recently re-elected in 2014 on the slate of the Concerned Taxpayers Party.
The indictment unsealed Wednesday lists the same four counts of criminal tax fraud that were made in April. All are felonies. The indictment also charges Mayor Beckerman with an additional count, of criminal tax fraud in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor.
In April, Beckerman was charged with three counts of felony repeated failure to file personal income and earnings taxes. The indictment that supersedes that charge includes only a single count of felony repeated failure to file income and earnings taxes, for tax years 2010 through 2012.